UALR (9-7, 3-2 Sun Belt Conference) gets a rematch with Troy (5-10,0-4) at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Trojan Arena in Troy, Ala.
Statistically, Troy shut UALR down. UALR shot 39 percent from thefield, 27 percent from three-point range and made just 14 of 22 free throws. Ittook a late rally to take the lead and surviving a last-second attempt fromTroy for UALR to hold on for victory.
It wasn’t all bad. Will Neighbour had 14 points and 11 rebounds. LeroyIsler had 12 points and 9 rebounds. Taggart Lockhart had 11 points and JamesWhite 10.
But Troy got 15 offensive rebounds and was led by Ray Chambers 8 pointsand 11 rebounds. Troy only attempted one third of its shots from three-pointrange, making 6 of 22 from beyond the arc.
But the biggest difference in the game was fouls and free throws. Troycommitted 18 fouls to UALR’s 9. And Troy attempted only 2 free throws to UALR’s22. UALR needs but shouldn’t expect to get that cushion tonight.
We’re partial. We think the Jack Stephens Center is great. But Troy’sbrand new Trojan Arena looks pretty spectacular. And it has something thegrayed-out Stephens Center doesn’t have – personality.
BURN BABY BURN
It is expected that John Gillon will miss the next two weeks after an injury on Thursday vs. WKU. Ben Dillard, who was also injured in that game, hopes to play but will likely be a gametime decision.
BTH KEYS TO VICTORY
Freedom: UALR dominated the first meeting at the free throw line. UALRneeds to outscore Troy from that spot again tonight.
70th Heaven: It’s pretty simple. When opponents don’t reach70 points UALR is 9-0. When opponents do reach 70 UALR is 0-7.
Will to win: At 6-10, Will Neighbour is a matchup problem for Troy.Neighbour, who looked sharp in the first half of the Western Kentucky game,needs to continue to play with that intensity tonight. He had 14 points and 11rebounds in the first meeting.
UALR is a 1.5-point favorite in Las Vegas. This marks the first timeUALR, which is winless on the road, has been favored as a road team.
Well, we only thought Thursday's UALR-WKU game was a close prediction. WKU ended up favored by 0.2 points on average. Well, today's UALR-Troy game is exactly the same. Actually, it would have been a 67.2-67.2 draw. But last night's recalculations by Jeff Sagarin increased UALR's margin in that game. As a result, UALR is now predicted to win on average by 0.2 points:
REAL TIME RPI (13-2): UALR 70, Troy 69
JEFF SAGARIN (12-3): UALR 69, Troy 66
OMNI RANKINGS (6-1): Troy 67, UALR 65
THE SPORTS NETWORK (10-4): Troy 67, UALR 65
CBS SPORTSLINE (9-6): UALR 67, Troy 66
BTH AVERAGE (11-4): UALR 67.2, Troy 67.0